Who holds sovereign debt and why it matters

This paper studies the impact of investor composition on the sovereign debt market. The authors construct a data set of sovereign debt holdings by foreign and domestic bank, non-bank private, and official investors for 95 countries over 20 years. Private non-bank investors absorb disproportionately more sovereign debt supply than other investors. Moreover, non-bank investor demand is most responsive to the yield. Counterfactual analysis of emerging market sovereigns shows a 10% increase in debt leads to a 6.7% increase in costs, but an outsize 9% increase if non-bank investors are absent. Paper concludes that these sovereigns are vulnerable to losing non-bank investors.

Categories: Recommended Readings
Author: BIS